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Joshua Holland: A Cut Above The Rest

Submitted By: Maryann Greco | Life’s WORC

Joshua Holland is an integral, dedicated, and consistent team member, who has spearheaded many of the initiatives that benefit every person living in the home where he provides supports. Joshua embodies a person-centered approach in his role as a Direct Support Professional at Life’s WORC. Life’s WORC offers comprehensive services and support to more than 2,000 people and families with intellectual disabilities and autism in Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk counties in the State of New York. In addition to providing in-home supports, they also have programs involving skills development and behavioral intervention, social recreational programs, and vocational training opportunities. Life’s WORC has achieved CQL Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation.

In addition, the organization has multiple employees who have achieved CQL Certification and work with people supported and their team to pursue their individually-defined outcomes. Along with those employees, Joshua also uses the Personal Outcome Measures® process to learn about and improve the lives of people he supports. Every person living in the home where Joshua provides services has participated in a Personal Outcome Measures® interview.

During an interview with Bill*, a person receiving supports shared that he wanted to interact with other members of the community, participate in the life of the community, and use his environments. One way this played out, was Bill’s desire to get a haircut at a neighborhood barber shop for the very first time. Previously, he had been receiving haircuts from his mother.

As Bill was struggling with the wait time at some barber shop locations, Joshua helped identify a barber who specializes in working with people with Autism. They both spent time with the barber, talking through the process and sharing details about what the person wanted out of the experience. When time came for the haircut, Bill was at ease, loved the results, and it was a true success!

Bill was so happy to have his first haircut by a real barber instead of his mother! He is now preparing to try a barber in his neighborhood and is very positive about being active in his community and not just part of a support service specific to people with disabilities.

Joshua Holland, Life's WORC

Along with this example, Joshua supports people to become more independent, advocate for themselves, make choices about their healthcare, get involved in community groups, and improve connections with natural supports.

The key to Joshua’s effectiveness is his ability to really get to know each person as an individual, through information garnered from the Personal Outcome Measures® discovery process. He tailors his work to meet their specific wants and desires, through a lens of dignity and respect.

* The name ‘Bill’ is a fictional name created to protect the identity of the person described in this story.

2019 National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week

This article is part of a campaign during the 2019 National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, to acknowledge Direct Support Professionals who are demonstrating excellence through the use of CQL’s Personal Outcome Measures® and/or NADSP’s Code of Ethics/Competency Areas. This campaign was developed through a partnership between CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership, The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP), and The American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR).